Work at home (WaH) deployments can incur a number of costs that may not be immediately obvious. In this post we are going to be answering two main questions: What are the costs involved for employers when providing WaH enabled devices to employees? And what can Secure Remote Worker do to reduce them?
The main costs employers should to be aware of in a WaH scheme are:
- Device procurement
- Employee Downtime
- Breaching of security compliances
- IT staff costs
- Device Loss
Quantifying a general cost of purchase for WaH solutions can be difficult due to the variety of solutions and their asking prices. However, at any scale, it is safe to say that it is costly to provide new devices to employees for WaH. Looking at the cost of procuring laptops, for example, the cost can be substantial. Excluding logistics, prices can range anywhere from $650 to $1,000 per Device. Imagine acquiring these devices for 1,000 employees; an employer would be paying anywhere between $650,000 to $1,000,000.
How does Secure Remote Worker reduce the cost of procurement?
Secure Remote Worker is, on average, 25% of the cost of distributed devices (depending on the value of the comparing hardware). This is because Secure Remote Worker installs on the employees’ personal devices, no hardware needs to be purchased, only the license for the software.
Logistics are the thorn in any company’s side when it comes to enabling WaH. When talking about deploying hardware to employees, 35% of the total costs comes down to logistics (Shipping, warehousing, transport, & admin costs), as we talk about in our blog about onboarding, the downtime that occurs due to logistics is often substantial (not even considering our experience in 2020 with limited supply and backlogged delivery services.). We will go through this downtime more further on.
How does Secure Remote Worker reduce logistical costs?
So how does Secure Remote Worker avoid these issues? Firstly, Secure Remote Worker is a software-based, secure BYOD solution, requiring no physical delivery or logistics of any kind.
The software can be instantly deployed from a central location to be installed on the employees’ personal machines, eliminating the need for logistics and thus the associated costs.
Employee downtime is an issue both when moving employees to WaH or hiring new employees remotely, as there is no way for them to securely work while waiting on their devices. During these downtime periods, the employer, functionally, is paying for nothing. As mentioned earlier, even without the logistical complexities of 2020, delays on average of 2-3 days have been reported between dispatching the device and when the employee receives it. Meaning the employee is unable to work for 2-3 days, despite the employer paying their salary.
Bill, 32, is devastated that his work machine has not arrived yet.
How does Secure Remote Worker reduce employee downtime?
Secure Remote Worker eliminates this downtime, as IT can instantly deploy links to install Secure Remote Worker and it’s Validation Tool onto the employees’ personal machines, allowing them to get up and running with a single click. Speedy onboarding, thanks to Secure Remote Worker’s Validation Tool, also helps to reduce this downtime.
Breaching of security compliances
The compliance standards that exist for on premises operations still apply to WaH environments, while there may have been some allowance initially in 2020 due to the rush to WaH, security auditing is returning (Mark Hillary, IT Decisions), and compliance standards like PCI DSS, HIPAA, and GDPR are all still vital for any company even in WaH. As we go through in this previous blog on compliance standards, breach of these standards result in substantial fines. Using PCI DSS as an example, a data breach can incur penalties of up to €20 million, or 4% of your annual global turnover – whichever of these is higher. Though an extreme example, it shows how vital it is to meet these QSA’s requirements.
The endpoint is the weakest link in most IT distributions, thus a high standard of security is needed on employee devices to maintain compliance standards.
How does Secure Remote Worker reduce the risk of breaching security compliances?
While it may be tempting to simply dispatch laptops with a VPN and call it a day, this would not be enough to meet compliance standards, though fine for enablement of initial WaH, the potential penalties should a breach occur could be substantial.
Secure Remote Worker was explicitly built with compliance standards in mind. Independently assessed by Coalfire Systems and Schellman & Company, Secure Remote Worker meets the QSA requirements for PCI DSS, HIPAA, and GDPR for the endpoint.
IT Staff Costs
An often-overlooked factor when it comes to the cost of WaH is the hours the IT department must put in to assist other employees with their onboarding. Support must be provided to employees transitioning to WaH, and of course, to new hires. This time is not free, IT teams report, on average, spending 1-2 hours per employee when onboarding. If we apply that to the thousand employee example from earlier, we can easily see the impact.
How does Secure Remote Worker reduce IT staff costs?
With Secure Remote Worker’s Validation Tool, onboarding is reduced from 1-2 hours per employee to an average of 10 minutes per employee. This is due to the Validation Tool automating the majority of checks required to vet a device for secure BYOD and allowing the IT team to provide employees easily accessible guides on how to resolve issues. Customers report that Secure Remote Worker reduces the staff cost at during onboarding by over 88%!
Attrition and staff turnover is the reality in most workplaces, and this is also the case for WaH environments. Some companies in the BPO and CX industries, for example, report having anywhere between 100% – 120% annual staff turnover. What happens to the devices supplied to these employees (or agents continuing the BPO/CX example.)? This is an issue, as the employer will need to retrieve devices from the employees’ location, adding extra cost to the original price of procuring and dispatching these devices, or the employer could purchase replacements for these devices, neither solution being ideal.
How does Secure Remote Worker reduce device loss
Device loss is not an issue with Secure Remote Worker. Just as the software solution can be easily deployed by IT, it can be just as easily uninstalled. With the ThinScale Management Platform, IT can uninstall Secure Remote Worker, and remove accompanying corporate resources remotely, requiring no retrieval or purchase of replacement devices for the employer. This is particularly useful for the BPO and CX industries, who can experience that high staff turnover previously mentioned!
As we can see some of the costs associated with WaH can be substantial, however the ability to provide WaH to employees is both vital for employee well-being in 2020, and, for some companies, necessary to maintain competitive advantage (Peter Ryan, Ryan Strategic Advisory).
Secure Remote Worker allows the employer to reduce costs while enabling first-in-class secure BYOD for WaH.
If you like what you see, click below and read about how a global BPO achieved PCI DSS compliant, WaH enabled devices, while reducing onboarding times: